Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Life in Petridish

Life in a petridish can be just as wild as the plains of Africa. There are numerous species in this small eco system all dependent on each other in one way or another. One small crustacean I have been unable to photograph as it moves too quickly, darting this way and that is the cyclops.It is a herbivore eating dead material on the petridish floor.There are many protozoa also not easy to photograph because of their transparency

The water beetle has gone through the larval stage,throwing off its exo skeleton several times(middle), each time leaving itself helpless for a short while, then recently the pupal stage leaving its last exo skeleton to be climbed all over by the ostracod scavengers,the equivalent of African vultures.They are only a fraction of a mm in size(see Movie) Meanwhile the now very vulnerable pupae has to hide itself amongst the duckweed and Azola roots. I had to chase it out to photograph it.(bottom)
(I no longer think it is a water beetle,looks more like a dragon fly larvae)

see movie


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